Remembering Hans Rosling:
On February 7, 2017, Hans Rosling died.  (The Joy of Stats Economist vol. 422. no. 9027 February 11, 2017 page 67.)

A great man.  A tragic loss.

His interests included health in the impoverished parts of the world – and he personally did something about that – and statistics.  He implied in his work that we would be better off, make better decisions, if we were aware of the crucial facts.  Accordingly he put together the remarkable web site, whither he drew crucial facts at a national level worldwide.  Education, income, infant mortality, life expectancy and so forth were arranged so that you could set two of them as coordinates on a graph, represent countries by circles proportionate to size, regions by color, and years in Arabic numerals in the background.  Then you could watch these things play out over time.

What evidently delighted him was that so many good things correlated with wealth and that wealth, worldwide was increasing rapidly.  So just about any run of his stats showed things getting better and better.

Of course there was that birth rate thing; evidently he was no more worried about falling birth rates than is the Club of Rome.  He was not worried about rising age of marriage for women.  Indeed one of his last projects was to show that fertility is falling and age at first marriage rising in the Muslim world generally.  I’m pretty sure I know where he got the idea because I had written him and pointed out where Sweden, his own country, was going using the same coordinates. 

Rosling’s cheerful and endearing world view was backed by good numbers although I suspect not entirely based on those numbers.  How much I have wished in recent years that I could recruit him.  My own approach is that of a simple plodder.  Add to that an incurable optimist, and what problem could stand before the team?    

He will be missed.

There have been 9 visitors over the past month. 

Home page